When I enter the gardens daily, it is extraordinary. The colour, the growth, the light, all extend themselves. At dusk, the birds sing so loudly – most likely the Robins living around the area, who are often the first ones to sing at dawn and can continue singing well into the night. Their song is often mistaken with that of the Nightingale, with whom they are distantly related.
I like that the humble Robin can sing as beautiful a song as the pedestaled Nightingale.
I think a lot about our Victorian ancestors, who created and termed this space as a “Pleasure Garden.” The gardens were private back then; and would have been used by those who were fortunate enough to receive such a privilege. Despite the privilege being shared a little more equally amongst our community these days (although far from entirely), it remains complex and difficult. There is also a pleasure in being here, truly.
Many things continue to live on here.
I go to the open day and plant sale at the gardens. I buy lots of plants for my own growing space. Although eve tells me I instantly forget their names and they do not have labels. I put them in the ground anyway and hope that when they flower I might get a clue as to what kind of plant they are. I enjoy the idea of the perennials arriving again next year, reminding of this place and its people, when this project is over.
Norman gives me four Dahlias.
I learn they were hugely popular in the Victorian era, and these fragile flowers were often preserved carefully, in glass cases.
I haven’t blogged in a while. Somehow it gets harder to write this experience down, as it feels vast. Perhaps this means that it’s time for/it is becoming something else. However it doesn’t quite feel like I can stand back and let all this bloom yet. I do not yet know what kind of plant it is. I will have to wait a little longer.